Edinburgh Capitals have not been included in the line-up for the 2018-2019 Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) season, it was announced yesterday, meaning that Edinburgh will have no representation in ice hockey’s top league over the next year.

This announcement is following the failed bid of rival Edinburgh club, Murrayfield Racers, to join the EIHL.

Edinburgh Capitals finished a disappointing last in the EIHL last season, racking up only five wins in 56 matches.

Following their poor season, Murrayfield Racers, who were British champions four times between 1969 and 1972, made an audacious bid to replace the Capitals in next year’s EIHL. A battle for ice time at the Murrayfield ice rink played out, resulting in much uncertainty as to what was going to happen regarding a professional ice hockey team in Edinburgh.

The Racers, whose board included legend of the sport, Tony Hand, won that battle and it appeared that they would be the team to be awarded the spot in the EIHL. Their bid failed, with the assumption being that the Capitals would retain their place.

This has not transpired though, with it looking like there will be no Edinburgh team in next season’s EIHL.

A statement from the EIHL clarified the situation, saying:

“Following the decision to reject the application from Murrayfield Racers to join the Elite League in 2018/19, the EIHL Board of Directors will now turn their attention to the future operating structure of the league.

With no ice time contract in place between the Edinburgh Capitals and Murrayfield Ice Rink, the Elite League has no choice but to move forward without the Capitals organisation.

The Board is now considering a number of options relating to participation and format ahead of the next Elite League Board Meeting on May 22nd 2018.

A final decision on the league format for 2018/19 (and subsequent seasons) is expected to be announced shortly after this date.”